Indian Hospital Data Hit With Ransomware By Hackers; Bitcoin Demanded
Indian Hospital Data Encrypted by Hackers Who Demand Bitcoin Ransom
One of India’s most prominent hospitals, which also happens to be located in the wealthiest city of Mumbai is the latest casualty of a ransomware attack. The hackers behind this latest attack encrypted its data and then proceeded to demand payment that was to be made in the form of Bitcoins before the data could be released.
Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital Under Attack
Officials from MGM (the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital) recently confirmed that the facility had been hit by a ransomware attack. The unknown virus has taken over control of the computer system installed in the facility. The attack took place on July 15th.
It was by sheer luck that the system administrator Amit Vavhal came about to know the existence of the malware. The administrator was able to discover its presence in the system upon coming across an email that had been sent by the cyber attackers.
Amit said that the email sent by the attackers contained a warning. The warning stated that all the hospital files had been encrypted because of a security problem that was present in one of the computers. If they wanted to resolve the issue, they had to email the cyber attackers.
The warning in the email further stated that payment was to be made using bitcoins for the data to be decrypted. The cyber attackers had not stated how much money was to be made as payment, but they did say that the price would vary depending on the length of time it took the administrators to reach out to the hackers.
Once payment has been made, the hackers would then send the facility a tool that they would use to decrypt all their data. The attackers went as far as informing the hospital of how they would go about purchasing the required bitcoins, as well as sending it to them. However, no information has been provided as to how much bitcoin is being demanded.
The MGM management has, however, come out to say that there are no plans to send any money to the hackers. They have also gone a step ahead and informed the local police of the attack. The police are still trying to establish who owns the IP address being used.
Hackers Earn, But Bitcoins Reputation Gets Soiled
P.K. Shashankar, who is the hospital's administrator acknowledged the fact that the attack had indeed taken place, before saying that they were doing their level best to continue with normal operations.
The administrator also went ahead to state that they had been facing difficulties from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon, but that they were in the process of recovering. Their patients had not been affected in any way.
The facility is not the first to be hit with a ransomware as a hotel located in Navi city was also a victim. The hackers demanded a ransom of $400 USD in bitcoins for them to unlock the computer system. Ransomwares have recently become a common crime around the world, with many countries such as India not being immune to the worrying trend.